WAGNER’S SPECTACULAR RING AND ITS LEGENDARY PREMIERES IN BAYREUTH AND NEW YORK ARE EXPLORED IN A NEW EXHIBITION AT THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM

In 1848 Richard Wagner (1813–1883) began work on what eventually would become his monumental cycle of four music dramas, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). It would be twenty-six years before his masterpiece was fully completed in November 1874.

Now, in a new exhibition opening January 29, 2016, the Morgan Library & Museum explores the challenging creation of Wagner’s epic, and the staging of its 1876 premiere in Bayreuth and its 1889 American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The exhibition includes rare music manuscripts, letters, books, costumes and stage designs, photographs, and historical artifacts. A number of the items are on loan from the Richard Wagner Museum in Bayreuth and have never before been on public display. Additional material comes from the Morgan’s music holdings, the Metropolitan Opera Archives, Columbia University, and from several private collections. Wagner’s Ring: Forging an Epic is on view through April 17.

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